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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 2

Morgan Randall rose before the sun had crested the sky, like he had every day since he had come to this stretch of country. His brown pants and shirt looked like they hadn't been cleaned in weeks and large circles of salt lined the bill of his threadbare hat. His long brown hair hung in lanky strands down to his shoulders while his stringy bangs masked the dark circles beneath his gray eyes. He shuffled slowly through his morning routine, feeding the chickens and the pigs, milking his few cows, and watering the only piece of color on his dingy brown farm, a small bank of bluebells that were growing in a fenced in section several yards from the house, around a wooden cross.

Morgan wiped a line of sweat from his brow and dunked his head into the horse trough, feeling the sting of the cold water on his face, and took a few deep gulps of the water. He pulled his head free and swept his tangled mess of hair back under his hat, the water beading in trickles down his craggy, unshaven face. He walked slowly over to the barn, grabbing his pick and backhoe, and headed over to the crop fields. Winter looked to break early this year and he still had plenty of rocks to remove from this section of the land. Morgan took off his shirt, revealing a body lined with scars, most notably numerous lash marks across his back and a pucker shaped scar on his shoulder. He tied his shirt around his waist and went to work.

Morgan worked for nearly an hour, his back to the east and he could feel the warming rays of the sun finally start to break over his shoulder. He kept working, waiting for the heat to truly sink into his bones. Finally he stopped, stretching the kinks out of his back and noticed that there was still a strange pale cast over the ground and while warmer, there was still a chilling pall in the air. Morgan turned to the rising sun, sliding his hat off of his head, staring directly into the orb above. The sun had turned black, almost like a solar eclipse, the edges ending in black flares that seemed to claw at the sky around it. Morgan stared into the orb for minutes, transfixed.

His reverie was finally broken when he heard a loud snap, like a wooden plank being shattered. He turned back towards the farmhouse, hefting the pick up as he slowly crept forward. He hadn't seen anybody up this way in weeks, living out so far from the nearest town, Sedition; which was a good 3 day ride. There were some stray farms up this way, and the cattle trail through Hicken's Gorge, but it would be a couple of weeks before that showed any activity. Morgan crept closer to the house, peering for any signs of intrusion, but he saw nothing. He stood at the door to his house, having made certain it was empty, and straightened his back, wondering if the solitude had begun to play tricks with his mind. Then he heard another shattering crack, from the direction of the garden. He stalked slowly closer, the splintering cracks coming faster. Morgan stood at the entrance to the small gated area, staring at the ground, watching the bluebells churn as if they were being uprooted. Finally a chilling scream sounded and a long white gloved hand thrust free of the earth, tapered blackened points for fingers clawing at the sky. He stared at the mess of flesh and bone and sinew, decayed and yellowed, and was assaulted by a sallow, foul stench. Despite the horror unfolding before him, Morgan's eyes were draw to just one thing, the glint of gold around one of those monstrous fingers. A golden glint that was his wife's wedding band.

End of Line.

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